Circuit city/best buy ok for mobile audio installation?

I don’t know much about stereos, but I want a new one. I don’t know if any of the little car audio specialist shops here are any good, so I was thinking of getting the stereo done at circuit city or best buy. At least that’s a somewhat known commodity.

So, are the audio staffs in these places competant enough to install a basic stereo without much hassle? Are the prices too high? I have a fairly good idea of what head unit I want… and it costs about $50 more at circuit city than it does on the internet - but it comes with free installation.

Anything I need to watch out for?

I don’t have any personal experience with them, but I have seen their staff and the cars they drive. Just generalizing here, but they’ve all got rather elaborate systems in their cars. They should have no trouble at all sliding a radio into your car.

I had a CD player and satellite radio installed by Soundtrack (similar to Circuit City/Best Buy) about 3 months ago. I was very impressed with the quality and speed of the installation, and the crew seemed to be very knowledgeable. Based on my past experiences with small specialty shops, I would almost recommend going to Circuit City or Best Buy, as their quality of work might tend to be more constant. My experiences with smaller shops have always been hit or miss, and on more than one occasion unacceptable.

Hell and no.
Best Buy/CC don’t do good work. Acceptable is the exception and not the rule. Car stereo installation is easy to learn and easy to install with patience, which makes the chain stores incompetence all the more damning. I’m a complete neophyte at this stuff and I was able to contruct my own sub box from scratch and install it.
Try caraudioforum.com and ask your question there. You’ll find plenty of people willing to walk you through it.

I recently had my stock radio/cassett ('95 Explorer) replaced at Circuit City with a radio/cd player. Overall, they did a poor job.

First, it took much longer than they said it would. They said it would take 1-2 hours. It took six that day and longer the second time. On the way home I could not pick up but a few radio stations. Also, I could hardly hear the sound and had to max out the volume to do so. When I arrived home the stereo fell out of the dashboard. I took the car back the next day and they tried to blame these problems on me, saying I had to leave early and had rushed them.

They had not secured the new unit or connected the antenna and bypassed the (amplifier?). Securing the unit was no problem, but the antenna and (amplifier?) seemed to be major problems for them. They claimed that my make and model of vehicle is a difficult car to work on. They did their best (I guess), but my reception is still poor and I can hear the (amplifier?) knocking around behind the panel in the rear above the right rear wheel when I run over bumps in the road.

I should correct these problems but I don’t know how to do it myself and I no longer trust them to do it, so I just leave it as it is.

I had a DVD player and monitor installed by Hi-Fi Buys (also trade as Tweeter) and they did a good job.

I have had stereo systems installed in my vehicles in the past at these types of stores with (mostly) no problems. I was more concerned with the youthful looking staff gleaning my address from the glove compartment or paperwork so they could come by and steal it from me later. No problems there either.

I had the CD player/radio in my car installed at CC back in 2001, and had no problems with it - even with my car requiring an odd cradle/suspension thing (I don’t remember what they called it) - and my car generally does require some odd size stuff, but it was included with the general installation charge.
I don’t deal with Best Buy at all anymore, so I can’t tell you much about them, except that back when I was looking to buy a car cd player, I went in there to look at them, was in the store for 45 minutes (on a weekday in August), and couldn’t get anyone to help me.

It’s really hard to say that Circuit City is better then BestBuy and viceversa. It’s really going to be about the individual doing the work and the experience the installer has. For the most part, and from stories I’ve heard, most of the installers at these big chain stores are hacks.

Basically, if you know what positive (switched), positive (constant), and negative is, as well as front right/left and rear right/left, you can handle it.

I had mine put in at Best Buy, done fast and done correctly. No problems. The only thing to watch for is the price of installation. When I bought mine, they had a deal where installation was free if you spent over $99 on the player, an approximate $50 value. Seeing as how the only players they had for less than $50 were really crappy, it of course made more sense to spend the money on the player and not the installation.

Beware if you have an oddly-shaped radio in your car, though. It can cost mucho dinero extra if they have to use an adaptor or something to make it fit.

Circuit City installed the CD player in my car. There were no problems with the install and the CD player/receiver has never had any problems in the 5 years it’s been there. I’d agree that it really would depend on the person doing the job. There really isn’t a standard “yes” or “no” for whether or not these places do good work. I can only say that whoever installed my CD player at Circuit City in Jensen Beach, Florida knew what he/she was doing.

Maybe if we knew where you live, someone could reccomend a good place to get things installed?

Anyway, I haven’t gotten a newradio in my car (I love my factory tape deck for some strange reason), but I did get some speakers installed. I have Infinity’s, and buying and installing them, plus the warranty cost about $300 . . . oh . . . 3.5 years ago, I think. Did a fine job, and the warranty is great.

I have this bad habbit of exploding speakers (the guys who replace my speakers are always in awe of the damage done), and I think I’ve gone through 4 or 5 by now. I got the original 3 year warranty, and that covered new speakers/installation. Never any arguement, all they asked for was my name and phone number (Oh, and the warranty receipt - but I’ve lost that a few times). After my 3 year warranty was up, I got another 2 years for something like $12. And they told me I could keep renewing it as many times as I wanted to.

I’ve been to Circuit Citys in Austin, TX, and Kalamazoo, MI, and they both did a good job.

Strange, my location used to be displayed by my user name - a little bit east of Cleveland, Ohio.

I guess I can post to somewhere like caraudioforum.com and ask if anyone knows reputable local dealers. Thanks.

I had my new CD/MP3 player installed at Best Buy for four bucks (I already had the kit and harness) and they did a good job.

My sister got a new radio/cassette player installed in her 1990 VW Fox about… probably 5 years ago, I guess, at Circuit City. It was done fast, it was done well, and she’s never had any problems with it, AFAIK.

BUT, she went to high school with the guy who installed it, and we knew beforehand that he was good, so… YMMV.

If you’re not installing a zillion new speakers and a new wiring harness for the entire car, take a look at doing it yourself.

I’m not kidding.

Most head units these days are single or double-DIN form factor units, and fit directly into the gap where the old one was.

Also, the car’s wiring harness will terminate in a nifty little plug. What you’ll need to do is solder/wirenut/etc… the head unit’s wires onto the factory-compatible wiring harness plug(~$15 or so at Best Buy) They’re color coded and labeled- an idiot can put them together.

I’ve done 4 or 5 of these, and it’s about the simplest thing I can imagine doing on a car.